Well, in my case, the fact that the villain isn't the focus - and, frankly, feels shoehorned in for the sake of having a villain - is a great argument for this film not needing a Big Bad at all. If the dragon ball hunt and the village conflict had been fleshed out a little more - maybe given an overtly mystical element tied to the sacrifice business - you could've had a throwback to the Blood Rubies/Devil's Castle days, but with a fresh cast of characters and an evolved visual style. The hunt for the dragon balls could've been more episodic, the village incident one of several, that culminated in some caper that brought the Great Saiyaman into the mix. Other members of the main/secondary cast could have popped up along the way in a more expanded/involved fashion than Gohan's "my dad's back for the tournament!" courier service from the series, giving us a "slice of life" movie.Cipher wrote: ↑Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:05 amI really have to disagree that the film would have been better off without Broly. His known menace and presence is precisely one of the things that makes it work, as we understand the tension of Videl (to our unease) and later Goten and Trunks (to our unease but also in a comical sense) not knowing what they’re up against when challenging him. Gohan’s fight becomes more tense and interesting without wasting time establishing a new dynamic as well.
This saves us from 1) having to waste time with serious villain setup in a movie not focused on or needing a charismatic villain du jour, and 2) getting another hum-drum nobody like Bojack to fill that role, which would reduce the fun of the movie substantially. We know who Broly is, we know from Movie 8 that he’s scary, he has a cool presence and design, he hasn’t met most of these characters before—okay, let’s get moving.
In a weird way, a Broly return is the perfect choice for a movie in which the villain isn’t the focus. I’m not saying the solution for mixing up focus or formula was always “just reuse a villain,” but in this particular instance, with these particular characters, it does the job really well. The humor (and way their childishness feeds into tension) of Goten/Trunks/Gotenks also depends on their opponent, and Broly is, I think, the character to best leverage that outside of Boo, for reasons covered in the video (but for a recap, you have the simultaneous humor and tension of Broly and Goten/Trunks speaking past each other, so to speak—having no idea and not bothering to care what the other side is about or after). Beerus works well with Gotenks too, with Gotenks (of all people) trying to chide him for his inanity and pettiness, but that never gets off the ground.
Not having the Dragon Balls scatter would have added some welcome ambiguity, but then we’d all just be questioning why they didn’t pull out the radar and search for them in the crystal quarry again. I’m fine with Toei Dragon Balls stretching credulity and rewarding a wish made improperly in dire earnestness from time to time. It won’t be the last time they do it.
So, yeah... Everything the Z movies are meant to do as harmless spectacle and story-light character interaction is in rare form here. I only see taking issue with it if enjoyment is tied solely to their villains—which, maybe it is for some people.
Basically, the charm of the front half, and the potential for more to be done with it, offers all sorts of options for a movie without a villain - at least, not a villain of Broly's power and brutality.